Hey there, friends! These bumpdate’s seriously creep up on me, which is honestly … absolutely terrifying. After this one, we are only down to ONE more before I am then full-term and covering things like … what’s in my hospital bag, what I’ve purchased to prepare for postpartum recovery, and nurse / midwife basket must-have’s and all of that! Like, where does the time go? But, anyway, I’m going to calm down by switching my focus to THIS bumpdate, hah! One thing at a time, Haley.
How far along are you: I am 32 weeks and 4 days today and feel like I’m just now beginning to get my act together. I’m finally doing all the research on all of the ‘must-have’s’ like his car seat, stroller, bassinet, and all of the things I’ll more than likely be needing to care for myself after giving birth. Y’all … venturing into motherhood and babyland is EXHAUSTING! There’s so much out there to consume … from social media accounts, peoples’ opinions and preferences and – not to mention – the number of actual products there are for each thing your baby needs. [I say ‘needs’ lightly because I do realize that there are very few absolute NEEDS that the baby needs in the very beginning]
How is 3rd trimester going so far? I truly cannot complain. I’m not struggling with insomnia or indigestion, which I hear is really tough for some during the third trimester. My back will ache from time to time because of the additional weight I’m carrying and probably pushing myself a little too far some days. I do find that I can’t move as fast as I want to / normally would. I get tired a lot more quickly doing the ‘easiest’ thing like picking up the boys’ dog bowls off the floor to get their dinners’ prepared or even just fluffing up the pillows on the couch. I’ll have at least, like, one day a week where I’ll just need a midday snooze. I’ve been busy-ing myself on the weekends with baby prep so I try to give myself grace because they do typically land on work days.
Overall ‘how are you feeling’: From a mental / emotional perspective, I do think my hormones have leveled out a bit from the beginning of pregnancy and I see things a lot more clearly. I could easily think about all of the ways Covid / being in lockdown is robbing me of all of the beautiful things women get to do and experience during their first pregnancy [to celebrate] like have a baby shower, go on a baby moon, take maternity photos, have friends feel your baby move, etc. I won’t get ANY of those things being that we are on a strict lockdown through the end of March. My Dad likely won’t ever see me pregnant in person – until maybe my next pregnancy, God willing – and likely won’t meet his grandson until the late Spring or Summer. ALL of these things have – at one point or another – brought tears to my eyes and made me sad. Instagram doesn’t make it easier, if I’m being honest, but it’s important that you realize the power that you hold to control those thoughts. I could allow myself to stay in that sad, negative space all day long but, instead, I allow myself to have my moments but then realize that there are tons of positives.
ONE. Little man is healthy, moving like crazy, and growing right on track!
TWO. Not having plans has allowed me to be able to give equal amounts of time to resting, working, and researching! There’s so much to look up and look into when it comes to postpartum recovery, breastfeeding, and baby products. If I was going out a couple times a week to shoot or to see friends or go out on a date night with John, I just feel like I would be stretched pretty thin, especially when you throw in spending quality time with John and managing the house. I feel like everything I’m juggling right now isn’t TOO much, if that makes sense.
THREE. It’s also allowed me to focus on organizing the house, which is still a big project I’ve been trying to tackle.
FOUR. This one kind of piggyback’s on to the second positive in that … I’m not exhausting myself! I feel less pressure to keep pushing myself to fit everything in and therefore allow my body to rest, which is so important during pregnancy.
I could keep going but I think you get it! I’m feeling thankful overall albeit a little bummed certain things can’t happen. At the end of the day, what we aren’t able to do are LUXURIES in life … they are great but they’re not absolutely necessary and whose to say I won’t get to experience those in the future?
Cravings: Still none, ha!
What I’m Looking Forward To: Obviously meeting him is what I am most excited about but, in the immediate future, I’m mostly just excited to get organized! Now that the holidays are over and work is a little slower, I feel like I am able to give the upcoming arrival of little man a lot of my attention, which he certainly deserves! I am really looking forward to letting myself get into full-on nesting mode and get myself ready for him! We started the Positive Birth Company’s Hypnobirthing Digital Pack Course earlier this week, which will get me prepped and ready [as I’ll ever be] for birth. My hope is that I can have a natural water birth but am not holding on to that too tight as I know things don’t always go according to ‘plan’.
**NOTE: If you’re in the US and want to purchase the pack, it will go through in a different currency, but you are still able to purchase them. If you want to do the currency exchange, just google what the amount equals in dollars. **
What I’m Least Excited About: Growing more and more uncomfortable, I guess! I can’t really think of anything I’m not excited about. Obviously birth will be a challenge, especially unmedicated, but that’s the point of taking the hypnobirthing class and believing I’ve got what it takes to get through it!
What Have You Purchased: Quite a few updates this time around! First, we got some of his nursery furniture in yesterday, which I’ll link here:
I am so smitten with his chest of drawers and rug! I shared on stories the other day that I’m going with a very neutral color scheme: all shades of tan, beige, natural, rust and white with gold accents, and maybe a few pops of gray.
Sadly, we do have a little issue with the glider so you won’t see that for a little bit and, actually, it is a little too big in this space so we will likely put it in our room once we get the issue sorted out with it instead of in here like we thought. It’s absolutely beautiful, though, as is everything else. I’ve purchased this cute giraffe [uk link] to sit next to the chest of drawers and am thinking this little wicker dirty clothes hamper [uk link] will be nice there, as well. I also want to get a circular gold mirror [maybe not this exact one but just sharing an idea of what I’m looking for] for just above the chest of drawers.
MOMMA NECKLACE | Enjoy 15% off with code ALYSONHALEY
My assistant kindly gifted me this MOMMA necklace, which is a fun new addition to my wardrobe! I also got my hospital bag over the holidays, which I’ll touch on further down in the post! I also received the sweetest gift from a friend, who set me up with some postpartum care items [see widget below], as well as Solly Baby, who sent along a few of their most popular items like their Solly wrap, sleeper, and swaddle. Last, but not least, I shared this tiered caddy that I’ll be making into a little changing and pumping cart. I am excited to put this together and I’ll be sure to do a post on what I’m putting on it before baby and will update the post after about three or four months to let y’all know what was helpful and what changes I made!
Other than that, I’ve just gotten a few things for me like this new pair of leggings, this plain white maternity top [which I can’t say enough good things about!], this set of nursing bras and this set of nursing bras, as well as these skinny jeans! Here is a little round-up of some of the maternity clothing items I’ve been loving lately:
I’ll have tonnsss of new updates on what I’ve snagged for baby boy in the next update as I have lots of things I’m getting organized to purchase but haven’t pulled the trigger yet!
Movement: Little man is a little mover and shaker! I do find that his movements are slowing down just a little bit as he is getting bigger and has less space to move around in there. But, he is a strong little thing and it’s been fun for me and John to be able to SEE his movements when we’re laying down.
Weight Gain: Okay, I didn’t answer this in my last bumpdate because I was being lazy [I’ve never been big on weighing myself] but I did weigh myself yesterday and it looks like I am now just under 125 pounds. I started at 95 [ish] pounds so I’ve gained just under 30 pounds, which is healthy. I had some weight to gain, to be honest. I’ve had a few of y’all who are starting to gain weight in your pregnancy and it’s scaring you a bit. I totally understand that but let’s not stress about it right now. It’s important to gain weight during your pregnancy for the health of your baby so
don’t try your best not to [I know it’s hard] focus too much on it!
How Is Private Midwife Going? It’s going well! I love that she comes to me and we can go through all of the things I have questions on together without feeling rushed. My iron levels are up within normal limits now, so that’s good! I’m continuing to take supplements to make sure it doesn’t fall before birth. She instructed me to start performing perineal massage in the next couple of weeks to decrease the likelihood of a tear during birth and to get that area toned and ready for delivery. If you’re reading this and completely lost as to what that is, I’ll leave THIS POST here. It showcases what it is, why it’s important, when to start, what to use to do it, and there’s also a video to provide more insight. I’m not sure if they ship their perineal massage oil to the States. You can also use organic sweet almond oil.
What’s next in prep: Gosh, tons! I feel like I need to wrap my mind around breastfeeding and postpartum and the things I’ll need for those two aspects of this whole adventure. I’m going to make a self-care basket to go next to the toilet in our bedroom and organize that three-tiered caddy. I want to put together some gift baskets for my midwives in the hospital, as well. I need to finalize the big decisions [carseat, stroller, and bassinet] as well as all the little ones like all the things he’ll need for being changed, monitors, clothes, socks, etc etc. I have an endless list but also not stressing too much. There are so many things that can wait until he’s here but want to make a valiant effort to do as much as I can so I’m not spending tons of time figuring out what to order instead of enjoying cuddles and resting when I can in those first few weeks. I also want to spend some time before he arrives reflecting on this journey and writing little man a letter.
Q: What stroller did you decide on?
A: Oh goodness, girl. I am still In the thick of this decision, ha! I am leaning more and more to either the UPPAbaby Cruz or the Nuna Triv. They are more city-friendly as they’re not as wide as the Vista and the Mixx and don’t weigh as much. They have substantial wheels to handle uneven sidewalks or cobblestones, which is what is deterring me from even getting a travel stroller [we were leaning toward the BabyZen Yoyo, which is super popular in London]. The BabyZen Yoyo sounds amazing for travel and quick trips out and about but I think I just worry about the wheels being so much smaller and not providing that smooth ride that can be helpful, especially when they’re young and potentially sleeping while you’re strolling. So, what we’ll likely do is choose between one of those two [Cruz and Triv; leaning toward the Triv as I like the look a little more and we wouldn’t have to use adaptors to click the carseat into it if we just stayed in the Nuna family AND wouldn’t have to buy the bassinet attachment JUST for the first few months he’s here … just seems like one more thing to have to store and pay for] and see how it does on whatever trip we plan and then decide if we need the BabyZen Yoyo. We’re almost positive we’re going with the Nuna Pipa for a car seat, which nixes the need for the Doona – which he’d grow out of after a year anyway. [NOTE: We know the Yoyo and Doona are lighter for travel but, choosing one stroller to be both an everyday and travel stroller would be ideal for us as we don’t have a lot of space to store extra things. We know Doona is also a car seat but, he’d grow out of it before he would the Nuna Pipa and we think the Triv or Cruz would be smoother in destinations around Europe as the wheels on those are bigger.] The Pipa doesn’t need a base to be used in Uber’s, which is huge for me being near a big city, and will last until he’s about 32 pounds, so we’ll get a little more use out of it. Most people have multiple strollers and, if we feel like we need to, we’ll get the Yoyo but going to see if we can get by with the Triv / Cruz and Pipa combo for now.
Seriously, y’all. What a world the car seat and stroller world is … there’s SO. MUCH. to weigh and wrap your mind around, ha!
Q: Have you found any tips for back pain?
A: Gosh, I wish I had a magic cure. Early on in my pregnancy, I’d make sure I was laying down with my feet elevated! That really helped! As time went on, I’d continue to do that but would still find myself achy after sitting on the couch for awhile. Now, I just ask John to give me a back massage hah! He’s always so happy to and it really does help. My mom friends swear by pregnancy massages but, sadly, I haven’t been able to take advantage of that myself.
Q: Will John have any time off once baby arrives?
A: I told John that I’d love for him to take the first couple of weeks off so that I can have his undivided attention and help when and if I need it, especially being that my parents and his parents will likely not be able to offer their help in those early days [due to the UK lockdown; if things change, i’ll let y’all know!]. After that, I’d assume he could absolutely take calls throughout the week. John’s job is great because he’s not locked away all day. He has two to four calls a day [usually two or three] for about an hour [at most] and spreads them out so that he has large chunks of time where he can work on designs and emails and can EASILY help me with whatever I may need. I’d rather him go back to work after a week to two weeks because what I want, more than anything … is for him to take off some time throughout the year for us to go away and enjoy some fun in the sun with the baby. We went to the Cotswolds in October for a couple of days, which was great, but both of us really do need some vacation time. We are moving literally in the middle of Summer so we will likely need to plan something for May and late August / early September just to kind of feel like we are taking care of ourselves after a year like 2020 and another move in addition to juggling this new big life change. It’s so easy to travel when they’re really little anyway so I just feel like we need to take advantage or being ‘pent up’ for another year could backfire on us.
Also, I just freaking MISS TRAVELING hahah! It breathes life into me and John certainly deserves some time away. He’s been locked in way more than me. So yeah, we both work for ourselves so these kinds of things are always tough to navigate … we’ll both just play it by ear but that’s what we’re thinking for now.
Q: What are your diaper bag essentials?
A: Oh goodness. I am NOT there yet! Ha! The only thing I think I have decided is what diapers we’ll be using, which is Kit & Kin [available in US and UK]. They are a leading sustainable diaper brand. My friend recommended them to me. She said they hold up really well, don’t irritate her baby’s skin, and you can opt for a subscription service to ensure consistency. And, moreover, for every 10 subscriptions they get, they will fund the purchase of 1-acre of tropical rainforest through the World Land Trust. We will also try their wipes, although my friend did say she preferred THESE to the Kit & Kin ones, but I’m not sure they’re available in the States.
There are so many products that add to the environments’ excessive waste issue like diapers, wipes, disposable pads to change your baby on, pads for mom during postpartum along with cold packs, etc. I realize that it is somewhat a ‘nature of the beast’ kind of thing but I also very much believe it’s also ‘i’m going to go with what’s the most convenient’ kind of thing, as well. So, I’m really trying to be conscious and realistic [this isn’t to say I don’t ‘get it’ … I do but I think it’s important for us all to try a little harder] about minimizing where I can. So, for example, in addition to the diapers, I’ll be changing him on a changing mat around the house that can be easily wiped clean. If you have any brands you’d love to share that are similar, leave them in the comments for anyone looking into this themselves!
Also, for the record – I know that cloth diapers are the best option if you’re wanting to do things as sustainably as possible. I have a friend who used them and explained the process to me. I think it’s a valiant option but, personally, not one I’m willing to make myself. So, I wanted to do as much as I could from there. Just a head’s up as I know someone out there might think I am saying that these options are THE most environmentally friendly / sustainable options.
Also, aiming to ‘do our best’ … not for perfection here. I’m not naive to how unpredictable babies can be and that these might change.
Q: What are your go-to hospital bag items?
A: Being that this is my first pregnancy, I wouldn’t say I can give you the best insight into the ‘must-have’s’ or my ‘go-to’s’ for the hospital bag situation. I only just bought my hospital bag a few weeks back during holiday sales. I am a huge fan of my gray backpack [seen in this blog post] from this brand so I knew that this would make a great overnight bag. As I start to get a list together, I will keep y’all up to speed on what I plan on bringing and will be asking y’all to weigh in on what I’m missing! I really want to try and keep it as minimal as possible because I’ve heard so many people say you are literally discharged within 4-6 hours of giving birth – which I love! If we need to stay longer than expected, John can always go home and get us anything we may need to hold us over. But, I’ll do a whole post on this topic as we get closer!
Q: How have you allowed yourself to experience the body changes / weight gain with grace?
A: This is such a sensitive topic as it pertains to body image and weight so I’m nervous to even try to answer it. It’s important that you understand that we all have our own body image hang-up’s. And, mine are often not really looked at with any kind of compassion because I’m in the minority. I’ve always been in the super skinny underweight category. No one feels sorry for me when I say that, I know, and that’s okay.
But, what you might not know, realize or understand, even is … that hasn’t been something I’ve worn as a badge of honor. I’ve always wanted to have curves. I’ve always wanted to gain weight. I look at my body and I feel a bit childish. I wish I felt more like a woman. In my mind, more weight on my frame, curvier hips, a bigger bust … in my mind … would make me feel like that. But, with my personality and drive to always be busy combined with my naturally fast metabolism, that has been difficult.
Oh, what a struggle to have, I know … not asking for you to get your violins out here.
So, for me, when it comes to weight gain during pregnancy … I’ve welcomed it! I know I had weight to gain! I realize this might not be what you wanted to read because everyone is in a different situation when it comes to weight.
I think I’ll moreso struggle a little bit after pregnancy because my body will look different and it might take awhile for me to figure out what my new body is going to look like. I don’t know that I’ll be able to go back to being as small / petite as I was before but, there’s nothing wrong with that! I think that’s something we need to remember after we give birth. There’s no shame in working hard to get a body we’re proud of back but it still might not be where we were before baby … and that’s okay!
I realize this is harder to accept for some than others but just remember – these sacrifices gave us one of the greatest blessings we could ever experience.
Q: What is the most surprising thing you have experienced / learned during pregnancy?
A: I guess to piggyback off of the last question – throughout my whole life, people have either told me I’d have trouble conceiving because I was / am ‘too skinny’ or that I’d carry small because … I guess, in their mind … only small frames can carry small babies. And, I guess, I started believing that I’d carry small but, I shouldn’t have because my Mom was my same size when she got pregnant with me at 29 and I was 7 pounds 10 ounces. But, anyway, living in that belief … I told my midwife that I was a little surprised that I could grow as much as I have and still have quite a ways to go before reaching full-term. She was like ‘Darling, women grow babies that are perfectly suited for THEM and their bodies’. It was her way of reassuring me that my frame can carry this baby, no matter how much he grows.
Another thing that was surprising to me was just how congested you get during pregnancy. I wake up congested EVERY day and, oh my gosh, I cannot wait until I don’t have as much volume on board to just be able to breathe normally, ha!
Hmm, what else? I think it’s just been enlightening to finally experience something I’ve always been mystified by and have personally looked forward to. I’ve ALWAYS told friends that I cannot wait to be pregnant one day. Many of them laugh as they huff and puff and struggle to breathe or sit comfortably, ha! I’ve learned that it is challenging, empowering and … one of the coolest things I’ve ever experienced. I’m so thankful I get to experience it. When you learn about what your body is doing every week to knit together this little human and then witness your body making all of the necessary changes to support that life … I mean, it’s such a beautiful thing and mind blowing at the same time. It makes me emotional thinking about it and it makes me completely sure that God exists.
Q: What glider did you get?
A: We got this one from Pottery Barn! I shared it in last months’ bumpdate, along with a few other recent purchases:
You can simply click on any of the items in the style board to shop them!
Alright, that does it for this bumpdate! Stay tuned for the last one at 36 weeks! xo.